Every month or so I give my wooden chopping boards a spa treatment by using a few simple kitchen ingredients: lemon, salt and a little elbow grease. Read on for instructions on this simple, effective way to give your chopping boards a deep clean.
Cooking is a transformation process. With nothing more than a knife, a vessel, a little time, and perhaps some sort of flame, we turn piles of vegetables, grains, fruits, and proteins into dinner. We turn the raw into the cooked and the unpalatable into the delicious. Just how delicious depends on a lot of factors but certainly the skill and talent of the cook play into it. Ingredients, too. Transformation is a big deal. It can be intense and it does take some effort, but the best cooks I know don't try too hard.
I've loved using Faith's tip for regrowing scallions ever since I read it. Even with this trick in my back pocket, though, I recently found some long-forgotten, brown, dry, and shriveled ones in the bottom of my refrigerator's vegetable drawer. Hating to waste and remembering the regeneration of fresh scallions, I decided to give it a try with seemingly-hopeless dehydrated scallions. And guess what — it worked!
If you live in the UK — or follow British television — you're probably familiar with Dick and James Strawbridge, the father-and-son team who shared their eco-friendly lifestyle in the program "It's Not Easy Being Green." Vegetables is the third book in their Made At Home series, a collection focused on growing, harvesting, preserving, and cooking your own food. It's a great handbook for those who want to start a kitchen garden and eat seasonally.
The other day, a friend said to me that one of the most important things cooking can teach us is restraint. That we come into cooking like toddlers in a fingerprinting session, unable to control ourselves from using all the colors and painting everything in sight. But hopefully, over time, we learn when to hold back and apply the less-is-more rule. He was commenting on the dinner he had attended the night before at the house of a new cook. "It was delicious," he said. "But it was a little heavy-handed. Too much garlic, too many flavors, a few too many dishes. She hasn't learned yet how to edit, how important simplicity and restraint are in cooking."
My friend has a point, but he was only halfway there.
Why do I need to keep a permanent marker beside the freezer? The same reason everyone does. My memory is nowhere near as awesome as I think it is. At the beginning of each season, when our menu starts to change, I am reminded that I really, really need to organize the freezer. Cold pasta salads and fish tacos are being replaced by slow cooker chicken and soup. The summer heat is cooling and I need to figure out what's in my freezer.
Public Health Department inspector Rob Acquista explaining health and safety practices.
It all started with an email from Mary, a reporter at The Columbus Dispatch, the local newspaper in my town. "We are looking to have a health inspector examine a home kitchen the way they might a professional kitchen," she said. And she had immediately thought of me — not because I have a dirty kitchen, she hastened to add, but because I write about food and, she said, I seemed "like the kind of person who might be game for this."
Oh really? Let a health inspector run his gloved fingers over my kitchen? Was I brave enough? I couldn't turn down a dare, and a few weeks later two city health inspectors, a photographer, and a reporter showed up at my door. Here's what happened.
Home improvement magazines like This Old House have been my airplane reading of choice ever since our huge home gut renovation last summer (see how my kitchen turned out here). So on a flight to New York yesterday I opened up my latest issue of TOH, with pleasure, but almost dropped it in my club soda when I saw this truly gorgeous kitchen island project.
Summer vacations are for families. The kids are out of school, the beach is full of playmates, and the whole family can get away together. But after school starts, this is one of my favorite weeks: my time at the beach with the ladies. It's all about the food, the books I never got around to reading, and the long, rambling chats on the porch. And thanks to the friend that came with me, the food has been outstanding.
Whether you decided to upgrade your silverware or you received a new set as a gift, you are faced with a couple options for your old spoons: you could sell them, donate them, hoard them, give them to your college-bound friends and family OR you could get crafty.